On World Environment Day 2022, we the students of class 5 at Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah Nairobi, were lucky enough to join a clean up initiative in the city. Organised by members of the Dawoodi Bohra community in collaboration with the Kenya Wildlife Service, the cleanup drive was meant to create awareness about plastic pollution and its impact on the Nairobi National Park ecosystem. We were given a stretch of land to clean along the Nairobi National Park’s border with the Southern Bypass. The place was covered in plastic, old clothes, bottles and a whole variety of rubbish. We spent two hours picking up and clearing away all the rubbish, filling it in collection bags to be taken away for proper disposal. We were surprised to learn that littering was only one of the problems that was facing the National Park. Another, more pressing issue was that untreated sewage from neighbouring estates was freely flowing into the park contaminating dams and natural water catchment areas. This poses a serious risk to the wellbeing of wildlife. From an elevated point along the bypass, we could see a steady stream of sewage making its way well into the National park.
It was a proud moment when the Governor of Nairobi Her Excellency Anne Kananu spoke to us and thanked us for our hard work. She pledged to resolve the sewage problem and to continue supporting the plastic free initiative throughout the year. We too resolved that we would be the first ones to sign up for any future activities. The cleanup drive was a fun chance for us to put into practice what we have learnt about cleanliness, preferring for all beings what we prefer for ourselves and benefiting the land we call home. Rasul Allah SAW states: ‘Cleanliness is a part of faith,’ ‘Love for one’s country is a part of faith,’ and he also states: ‘Prefer for others what you prefer for yourself.’
Furthermore, it made us truly understand and be grateful for the way that we live in Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah and at home. We have come to appreciate how clean our campus is and what effect that has on our ability to study and are now even more committed not just to keeping it that way but inspiring our fellow students to do the same. Altogether, this experience was a satisfying and fulfilling one. We did our civic duty, learnt about the Nairobi National Park’s unique ecosystem, strengthened the articles of our faith and had an enjoyable day out in the process.